What does a floor runner do?
Floor runners do anything required to aid the shoot's progress. They run errands, convey messages, look after cast and crew, make drinks and provide food, drive and deliver kit.
Floor runners are often responsible for transport to and from unit base to set. They help with getting the cast to the unit cars and crew into the minibuses.
And they deal with small and large crowds of supporting artists, supervising them, with the help of the key third or with a crowd third (see first assistant director (AD)). They might have to supervise them or set a few into the background.
Even small details may cause delays, so floor runners are quick on their feet and responsive to specific requests from the producer, director, or assistant directors.
What’s a floor runner good at?
- Communication: give clear and concise communication over the radio, know the faces and names of all the crew, be personable, be able to coordinate large groups of extras in pressurised situations
- Multi-tasking: stay calm, cope and prioritise when the first assistant director is asking you to do something over the radio at the same time that a unit car driver needs attention on WhatsApp
- Watching film and TV drama: have a passion for the genre and a love of the industry
- Learning by watching and asking: take instruction, observe the first, second and third ADs at work, know when to ask about things
- Taking initiative: have common sense, see what needs to be done in a situation
- Reliability: get to set on time